New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar stepped down Wednesday following a tidal wave of sexual harassment allegations levelled against him under the #MeToo movement.

Akbar had been accused by almost 20 women of sexual misconduct, something that he denied vehemently.

Even in his brief statement following the resignation, he said, "I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capacity. I have, therefore, tendered my resignation."

He also expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for giving him the opportunity to serve the country.

On Monday, Akbar sued Priya Ramani, the first woman to name him and deemed her #MeToo account as "wholly and completely false, frivolous, and unjustifiable and scandalous grounds."

Ramani said that she would fight the case. But 19 other journalists also agreed to testify in court against him.